Fernando Alonso sent a dig to his old team Ferrari after they pitted Charles Leclerc at the end of the Belgium Grand Prix in a bid to get the fastest lap point.
Alonso, who raced for the Italian team between 2010 and 2014, was surprised that Ferrari chose to risk Leclerc at such a late stage in the race when he was guaranteed to finish ahead.
Despite informing the team that he didn’t want to risk his fifth position, Ferrari told Leclerc to pit with two laps to go.
He emerged behind Alonso at the pit exit but was able to retake it on the final lap, utilising the faster grip from the Soft tyres and tow down the Kemmel straight.
“I was surprised! Ferrari always does strange strategies, so that was one of those,” Alonso told Sky Sports F1.
Binotto: Right decision to pit Leclerc
When Leclerc crossed the finish line, he was six-tenths slower than the 1:49.354 set by Max Verstappen.
Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto believes that it was the right call to pit Leclerc at such a late stage.
“I think the call to stop was the right call. You need to be brave in F1,” Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com.
“There was an opportunity for us to get the fastest lap and there was the margin on Fernando [Alonso] to stop and to try to go for it.”
Leclerc loses points with speeding penalty
In a double blow to Ferrari, Leclerc was given a five-second time penalty for going 1kph over the 80kph speed limit when he pitted – costing him two championship points.
It later emerged this was a knock-on effect from a visor tear-off that got lodged in his brake ducts early in the race, which was suspected to have been from Verstappen.
Binotto added: “Once again, I think it was the right decision. Then we overspeed in the pit lane. The reason we overspeed is simply [because] we were borderline.
“We were not using our normal sensors measuring the speed because they had failed during the overheating of the front-right due to the [tear-off] of Max.”